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EVENTS - 2012

2012 YOUTH WATER SUMMIT, BIRCHWOOD HOTEL, 2 - 6 July 2012

 

Background

Africa is a water scarce continent which is faced with a challenge of increased water demand due to developmental needs whilst amount of water remains the same. If our water resources are not well managed, protected, conserved and developed in a sustainable manner, we will have a water crisis. Water and environment are catalysts for social and economic growth and development. ”Without Water there will be no life,” there will be no development; there will be manifestation of poverty. We will not be able to address issues of food security, health and economic growth. Hunger and disease will be the order of the day. This will result in not achieving our Millennium Development Goals. Currently we are faced with major challenges such as water wastage through leaks, daily activities that don’t take water conservation into consideration, such as watering our gardens and washing cars, polluted rivers, poor water quality which is a health hazard, etc

Given the above mentioned challenges, the Department has made a call for partnership with communities to participate actively in water resource management. Thus the implementation of various public education programmes aimed at educating the young people and communities about integrated water resource management. Vision Programme – through this programme we want to instil values of natural resource management and also to promote careers in the water sector in order to address the scarce skills challenge. Learners are the best educators and they are able to change the mindset of their families and entire community.

This programme gives exposure to grade R – 12 learners to be able to identify water problems in their communities and develop inventions to address them. These inventions are presented during Youth Water Summit which is held annually during Youth Month. The Summit creates an opportunity for young people to share knowledge acquired during the implementation of 2020 vision programme; get to know each other; get exposed to water value chain through excursions – practical experience, engage with water experts through lectures and exhibitions to get better understanding of water related issues; and create awareness about water sector careers.

This year (2012), DWA will invite young people from African countries not only for observation and knowledge sharing but to participate in chosen activities during the Youth Water Summit. Water does not have boundaries, as we have international waters – rivers that we share with our neighbouring countries. Working together we can consolidate ideas and share knowledge for sustainable water resources in Africa.

Introduction

2020 vision has over 3 years hosted youth water summit with more than 500 delegates coming from all around the country and beyond. Last year (2011) the Youth Water Summit re-adjusted approach into an intense knowledge sharing water education summit; and re-organized its activities into excursions, youth debates, clinics, exhibitions, competitions and award ceremony for the purpose of meeting the needs of learners and teachers in moving toward sustainability. The Summit was joined by a number of African delegates, such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, Namibia, etc.

The 2012 Youth Water Summit is focusing on Water education and sustainability which have become the major challenge that the world has been facing since 1960s. It is very important to engage young generations from different nations to work together, tackling critical water issues and creating new solutions.

It was during 2011 Youth Water Summit that the youth of SADC took a decision on the following (Ekurhuleni Declaration):

  • To ensure the participation of African learners and educators in the African youth summit in each of the SADC and the ICGLR member states as a means of sharing , cooperating and fostering the continental water and climate change issues

  • To support the current and future leadership of AMCOW to trek the implementation of Ekurhuleni declaration and prepare a detailed report on progress at the end of 2013 when 2020 vision programme will be piloted in the SADC countries and ICGLR member states with the technical support and guidance from South Africa.

  • To identify three countries to pilot 2020 vision programme with technical support from South Africa that the three or four countries form working committee of which the secretariat and the piloting countries will chair the committee on rotational basis with an understanding that the programme will be replicated to other SADC countries and ICGLR member states on five years

  • To establish review, update and adopt national and water national policies within 24 months from the signing of the declaration of June 2011 establish a roll out plan for the full implementation of 2020 Vision programme

  • To ensure that one principle, accountable institution takes clear leadership in terms of implementation of the roll out plan of the 2020 vision for water education programme to the SADC countries

  • To develop and implement water resource information , monitoring systems and tools to track progress at local and national levels and to work with global and regional bodies to produce a regular SADC and ICGLR member states water resource status, the first of which is to be published by 2013

  • To recognise the gender and youth aspects of water resources and involve women in all decision making levels so that policy, strategy and practice reflect gender sensitive approaches to water initiatives

  • To build and strengthen capacity for water resource implementation , including research development and support knowledge exchange and partnership development

  • To give special attention to countries or areas which are emerging from conflict or natural disasters

  • To establish a specific public sector budget allocations for water resource development programme and to also solicit sponsorship from the business community, thus strengthening partnerships government and private sector.

  • To increase the participation of all the African Union member states in the next Youth Water Summit.